UGI to Pay Up to $615 Million for Total’s French LPG Operations

UGI Corp. agreed to buy Total SA’s liquid petroleum gas distribution business in France for as much as 450 million euros ($615 million), adding to the U.S. company’s operations in the European country.

The acquisition of the LPG unit from Europe’s second-largest oil company is seen closing in the first half of 2015, subject to regulatory approvals and consultation regulations, Pennsylvania-based UGI said today in a statement.

The cost will be about 400 million to 450 million euros, raised using cash and debt, and the unit will contribute to earnings in the first year, it said.

Total’s Chief Executive Officer Christophe De Margerie has been selling assets to help pay for development of so-called mega-projects. The company targeted $15 billion to $20 billion of asset sales from 2012 to 2014 and de Margerie in February said they could reach $25 billion, without giving a timeframe.

Total sold its 10 percent stake in Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas project to Turkey’s state oil company for $1.5 billion in May, bringing total disposals since 2012 to $16 billion.

The company’s LPG unit distributed 265 million gallons of the fuel to residential, commercial and industrial customers last year, according to the statement. That compares with about 250 million gallons distributed by UGI’s Antargaz in France.

“The acquisition of Totalgaz would extend the footprint of Antargaz, UGI’s French LPG distribution affiliate, expanding its residential and commercial customer base across all regions of the country and creating a national leader in LPG marketing,” it said in the statement. “The new organization would be better equipped to hold its own and seize growth opportunities in today’s aggressively competitive market.”

UGI is an LPG distributor with operations in the U.S. and 16 European countries, including the U.K. and Poland.

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